Pop-punk: It’s a genre classification that’s had most self-respecting punk rockers fleeing for the exits since it gained mainstream popularity. Blame recent AP cover boys Blink-182 and their ilk for diluting pop-punk with crybaby tears, but this style of punk began in the late ’80s as a tightly wound firecracker out of California’s East Bay and spawned some of the most melodic and energetic bands ever heard. Green Day, Jawbreaker, Crimpshine, Pinhead Gunpowder, Cringer... Yeah, all of those guys. More than 20 years later, in walk Dear Landlord. They not only carry the long-doused pop-punk torch, but add a new chapter in a book many thought was locked shut, the key swallowed up by bloated excess wrapped in a panty-twisted bow. But, thanks to Dear Landlord, we can all begin to heal.
A Midwestern import who quite candidly admit their Berkeley influences, this foursome combines members of Chicago and Minneapolis hometown heroes the Copyrights and Rivethead respectively; but you’d swear they were cryogenically frozen after an early-’90s Gilman Street all-ages show. We’re talking true pop-punk laced with mind-twisting chord changes and gruff, passionate screams. We’re talking songs about hope, regret, life in shitty basement suites and strong-minded women, not weak-minded girls. This was the mission statement of the original pop-punk: Blazing tempos, an overabundance of melody, some cussing and venom when needed, a healthy dose of social relevance and a hell of a lot of fun. Dream Homes is as near to a perfect pop-punk record since Kerplunk and Unfun. For serious. (NO IDEA) Jason Schreurs
GO DOWNLOAD: “Last Time I Checked”